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Miles Emmons

Stained, shallow water, with moving grass mats

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Hey fellow fishermen and fisherladies,

 

Got a question for you more experienced fisherman. I need to give a little pond description before I ask it though.

 

-130 acres in size, max depth 15 feet

-10'x10' MOVING giant reed mats (wind pushes them everywhere) when altogether due to wind covers an acre easily!

-extremely stained water, brown almost. In a float tube you cannot see your feet!

-weeds are pretty much everywhere some places right up to the surface

-alewives do come up in there (which is why I believe they are so big!)

 

In the dead of summer i use to struggle finding bass. This last summer I found a top water lure that works. I have my spots where I know there to be decent fish but with the floatillas moving around by the hour fish in there rarely stay in one spot (so I think). 

 

As for subsurface lures the ONLY thing I can get them to hit is chartruese tipped green colored worms texas rigged with no weight. It drives me nuts because the fishing technique with these is literally to cast at a grass mat, let it sits for like x amount of minutes and then just watch your line drag side ways. I DESPISE fishing this way (albeit it semi-effective). It is boring as all hell and every once in a while a fish gets the hook swallowed and I am all catch and release so I hate it. If I have any tension on the fishing line the fish will not hit the lure (trust me, I know you are thinking I am just not setting the hook soon enough yada yada).

So the question becomes do you guys have any advise on a lure or on a fishing method that might work in this pond? Has anyone come across a shallow stained pond with tons of weeds (in a colder climate, Florida doesn't always understand Maine bass). and found something successful.

I have tried jigs, they legit fall into about 3 feet of grown up weeds under water and don't work. I have tried spinner baits of all colors, I have tried cranks and jerks but they get weeds unless super shallow divers in which case nothing hits. I have tried swimbaits with hooks buried and nothing (or they get in weeds). I am open to any suggestions of any kind. This pond has some GIANT bass in it, I spent 2 hours one morning in the summer hauling in 22 fish all above 3.5 pounds, biggest being 5.4 and I know there are bigger ones in there but I don't think I am offering them what they truly want. 

The pond does have a population of black crappie, pickerel, perch and carp. Although besides the carp I haven't seen/caught any of them more then twice in 4 years! 

Thank you ahead of time and sorry for the long winded post. With giving fishing advice for a pond there is never enough information and even then unless you've fished it, it is really hard to gauge as no two ponds are the same.

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Have you tried a bladed jig?

 

Nice thing about stained water is bass are more will to come to the surface, even during the day. Maybe you don’t even need to go subsurface!

 

I would grab a Whopper Plopper 110 and a Teckel Sprinker frog. Use one where the water is clean and one around the mats, and chuck and wind all hours of the day. 

 

Keep a good grip on your rod, you need to hold on tight with those lures!

 

If it is slow and they won’t chase, throw a popper/popping frog around the edges of the mats. 

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11 minutes ago, FCPhil said:

Have you tried a bladed jig?

 

Nice thing about stained water is bass are more will to come to the surface, even during the day. Maybe you don’t even need to go subsurface!

 

I would grab a Whopper Plopper 110 and a Teckel Sprinker frog. Use one where the water is clean and one around the mats, and chuck and wind all hours of the day. 

 

Keep a good grip on your rod, you need to hold on tight with those lures!

 

If it is slow and they won’t chase, throw a popper/popping frog around the edges of the mats. 

FCPhil thanks buddy! That is what I use (whopper plopper) and they love it early morning and late evenings. I find top water mid day is really tough on any lake though. But I will try a bladed jig, haven't yet so worth a whirl! Thanks and tight lines mate!

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Why not try a weedless C-Rig, with a small bullet, just heavy enough and long enough from the weight to be able to work the bait just above the bottom?

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Similar issue where I fish. Chatterbaits are a good option, but I do tend to burn them in an attempt to keep it from hanging up in the weeds. 

 

Speed worms, swimbaits, and swim jigs alshould he on your roster as well. Another good option would be a split shot rig. I have done well with the split shot rig on my lake, with a 1/16oz-1/8oz weight and a work of any kind. Compact spinnerbaits are on there option. 

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If I could I would go somewhere else.  If I was stuck there I would use a black and blue swim jig.

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11 hours ago, Miles Emmons said:

FCPhil thanks buddy! That is what I use (whopper plopper) and they love it early morning and late evenings. I find top water mid day is really tough on any lake though. But I will try a bladed jig, haven't yet so worth a whirl! Thanks and tight lines mate!

I fish a similar pond and even though the topwater bite fades during the day, I tend to catch bigger fish on topwaters midday than morning/evenings. And often it catches more than subsurface lures even in the day. 

 

There has got to be fish hiding under the mats. If a jig drops too fast to fish around the mats lookup a lure called a “zero-gravity jig”. It’s a jig that falls as fast as a weightless soft plastic. It might draw some fish out from the edges of the mat. 

 

Also I would try both rattling and silent crankbaits if you have not already. 

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Thank you all for the insight. I will try out and any and all of these tips.

I know some of you say go elsewhere but up here in Maine a 5 pound bass is maybe once in a summer catch, a 7 lber is a once in a lifetime catch. We have cold cold winters and lots of untimely lake turnovers which have like 90% kill off ratios. On top of all of that Maine fish and wildlife hating bass and loving trout, and pike and pickerel it is a tough life for a Maine large mouth! 

Thank you everyone and tight lines

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Lake turnover would not cause 90% mortality rates.  Something is drastically wrong for that to happen.

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1 hour ago, J Francho said:

Lake turnover would not cause 90% mortality rates.  Something is drastically wrong for that to happen.

I don't know the exact terminology but when the lakes freeze over in the winter if the weather changes or if they have a warm bubbling spring sometimes depending on conditions they can flip having the epilimnion (at that time on the bottom) go to the top and the hypolimnion (go to the bottom). If this happens when there is still ice on top of the lake/pond it messes with oxygen and temps and I've seen smaller ponds literally lose 100% of trout bass and perch. Only a few pickerel survived.

It is not super common but unfortunately it does happen. I am sure we have all fished in early summer/ late spring where you see tons of dead fish on the surface from an algae bloom too... It's tough being a fish ! haha

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I wouldn't bother with a lake that experienced 90% turnover.  It's much easier to catch fish where there is a healthy population.

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The 200 acre lake I fish a lot had an an explosion of  this stuff last year. Its chara algae " skunk weed "that has no root system to keep it anchored . It completely choked out some shallow water areas . The wind blows  it around . I caught bunches of fish with buzzbzits and spinnerbaits fished around  and over it . Anything fished through it would come back  covered   ,even Texas rigged plastic worms . Frogs go over the top of it pretty good but I did not use them much as the  spinnerbaits and buzzbaits worked so well . I speculate a Johnson Silver Minnow would have worked too.

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